As a frequent visitor and sometime participant in tower shoots, I find my freezer full of frozen pheasant breasts and looking for ways to turn them into easy, delicious meals. With an inspiration from Kirk Parker, I have developed this recipe for pheasant breasts in a slow cooker.
A fricassee is “a method of cooking meat in which it is cut up and braised, and served with its sauce, traditionally a white sauce.” Julia Child says a fricassee is “halfway between a saute and a stew”. This fricassee includes my secret ingredient veggie, leeks.
1 qt water
¼ cup sea salt
1/8 cup sugar
6 whole pheasant breasts, on the bone
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large or 2 small leeks, chopped and rinsed well to remove sand
1 medium onion
1 bunch scallions
3 celery stalks, plus leaves
2 large or 4 small carrots
4 sweet red mini-peppers
4 cloves garlic
1/3 chopped fresh parsley
1 can Healthy Choice cream of chicken soup
1 can Healthy Choice cream of mushroom soup
1 packet chicken gravy mix
1 packet ranch dressing mix
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp dried thyme
1 recipe Bisquick waffles, olive oil substituted for vegetable oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese (hand-grated parmesan regiano is best)
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives (or 2 tbsp dried chives)
- To prepare the brine, heat about 2 cups water to almost boiling, dissolve salt and sugar, and dilute to 1 quart with ice cubes and cold water. Pour cool brine over pheasant breasts to cover. Use more brine as needed to cover the pheasant. Thaw the pheasant ahead of time or in the brine. Brine the meat about 4 hours or until thawed. Remove pheasant from the brine and drain while preparing the slow cooker.
- Clean and chop vegetables and garlic. A reliable method to clean leeks is to chop, wash in a bowl of cool water and drain. To make the sauce, whisk together the canned soups, gravy and dressing mixes, crushed red pepper, chopped garlic, and dried thyme.